Do you go to lay back on the couch or in the bath, look down at your belly and think 'what on earth is happening to my belly?' It changed shape so it isn't round any more, instead there is a protrusion down the mid line. This is what we refer to as 'coning' during pregnancy (it can also be seen postpartum and this is an indication of diastasis recti). But don't worry...keep reading for some great tips on how to avoid coning and help reduce the severity of postpartum diastasis recti. Check out the image below to see my belly coning at 20 weeks pregnant.
KEEP YOUR BELLY ROUND AND SMOOTH!
What can I do to avoid this (coning) from happening?
- Stop ANY exercise that promotes the coning effect. When you are pregnant, the advice given by fitness professionals is to STOP crunching, sit ups and conventional abdominal exercises after the 1st trimester. This is done to save and protect your belly!! Who wants a six pack during pregnancy anyway? Not me, I want a functional abdomen that is strong and protects my core and my baby.
- Look out for exercises during your 2nd and 3rd trimester that may cause coning. Exercises such as chin ups, pull ups, plank, push ups and sometimes even quadruped exercises such a bird dog can cause issues. Each mama to be is different and has a different tolerance. It is important to watch your body or have a trained professional guide you through safe workouts.
- Practice safe getting up and down off the floor/out of bed. This is a big one!! The best way to get up and down when pregnant is by rolling to your side and doing the 'sexy slide' a phrase I learned from the wonderful Bellies Inc . You can check out the video I posted on Instagram here to see how to do the sexy slide.
- Ensure you are activating your deep abdominal muscles. These muscles being your pelvic floor, transverse abdominus, multifidus and diaphragm. The best way to do this is to practice diaphragmatic breathing.
Follow these tips to help protect your belly and if you are worried about postpartum diastasis recti, contact a professional who can help create a safe and effective recovery plan. It is something that can be solved but prevention is better than cure!!